Today's News and Commentary–April 28
According to the Washington Post, Republicans are expected to block a Senate bill that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Nevertheless, Democrats are hoping that their fight to increase the minimum wage will help them win votes in November’s congressional elections.
The Wall Street Journal reports that New York City’s teachers are “forging an amicable relationship” with the government, despite the fact that they are engaged in complex contract negotiations. On Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he had a “natural partnership” with Michael Mulgrew, the President of the United Federation of Teachers.
The Wall Street Journal provides updates on a strike at a manufacturing plant owned by Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings), a Chinese company that supplies shoes for Nike and Adidas. Earlier this month, factory workers in Dongguan, China walked off the job, alleging (among other things) that they not received adequate social insurance payments. According to the Journal, China’s central government confirmed that Yue Yuen Industrial underpaid its workers’ social-security insurance and ordered the company to rectify the situation quickly. The Journal also reports that the strike will cost the company nearly $60 million dollars ($27 million in direct losses and $31 million in increased benefits for workers this year).
The New York Times Editorial Board reflects on working conditions in Bangladesh one year after a building collapse killed more than 1,100 garment workers. The Board acknowledges that labor groups, Western clothing companies, and the Bangladeshi government have taken some steps to improve conditions for Bangladeshi employees. Nevertheless, the Board contends that there is much more work to be done.